This brings a renewed transformation of Nairobi’s Eastlands that has experienced gridlocks in the past decade. The road has undergone a major transformation that befits its position as the heart and bedroom of over 2.6million or 60% per cent of the City dwellers. In 2014, 40, 000 vehicles used Outer Ring Road and close to Kshs.50million was lost each day due to gridlock.
It would take two hours to commute from Ruaraka to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and this has now been reduced to only eleven minutes. It is a sigh of relief to residents who have suffered in endless traffic gridlocks for many years.
President Uhuru Kenyatta officially launched the dualling of this project on 22nd January, 2015 and asked for its speedy realization and we are glad it has come to fruition today.
The contractor, SinoHydro Tianjin Engineering Company Ltd will be finalizing in the next six months the following remaining works; Landscaping, junction improvements and extensions, footbridges, installation of road furniture and construction of remaining sections of service roads. Included in the contract and yet to start is the construction of KShs. 868 Million fresh and wholesale market to be situated along the corridor as well as other social amenities.
The over Ksh8 billion project developed with loans from African Development Bank (AfDB) and partly government resources has employed over 1099 workers in the last two years has seen over 400 youths who used to hawk along the corridor trained to acquire life skills in various institutions.
The project has faced numerous bottlenecks including relocation of services, land acquisition and encroachment along the corridor.
This road is expected to improve accessibility to Eastlands area, reduce time travel to commuters and improve property value and the business environment for formal and informal traders.
The 13 kilometre stretch will have 11 footbridges, service roads, grade separated intersections and Non-Motorized Traffic (walkways and cycle tracks). The works also included relocation of informal traders to designated market area set aside along the highway.
This milestone project is expected to improve Nairobi City economically and socially and the country is on the right path to achieving Vision 2030. Apart from Outer Ring Road, the Government has also upgraded several roads in Eastlands to blend with its new status. They include Komarock Road, Eastlands Roads, Eastleigh Roads, Lunga Lunga, Nanyuki Road, Enterprise and Likoni Roads, Lusaka Road, Mumias Road and Industrial Area Roads. This is one, among the major projects the Government has undertaking in the last four Years.
Plans are also underway to dual Eastern and Northern bypass to blend with the rising demand for improved infrastructure and growth in the Eastern suburbs of the City which is acquiring a new status. Already many businesses are shifting to Eastlands with the establishment of huge supermarkets, go-downs and industries and production parks. They want to take advantage of the availability and proximity to labour, transport, export and import facilities.